Electrospun nanofibers for medical face mask with protection capabilities against viruses: State of the art and perspective for industrial scale-up

Appl Mater Today. 2023 Jun;32:101833. doi: 10.1016/j.apmt.2023.101833. Epub 2023 May 2.


Face masks have proven to be a useful protection from airborne viruses and bacteria, especially in the recent years pandemic outbreak when they effectively lowered the risk of infection from Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) or Omicron variants, being recognized as one of the main protective measures adopted by the World Health Organization (WHO). The need for improving the filtering efficiency performance to prevent penetration of fine particulate matter (PM), which can be potential bacteria or virus carriers, has led the research into developing new methods and techniques for face mask fabrication. In this perspective, Electrospinning has shown to be the most efficient technique to get either synthetic or natural polymers-based fibers with size down to the nanoscale providing remarkable performance in terms of both particle filtration and breathability. The aim of this Review is to give further insight into the implementation of electrospun nanofibers for the realization of the next generation of face masks, with functionalized membranes via addiction of active material to the polymer solutions that can give optimal features about antibacterial, antiviral, self-sterilization, and electrical energy storage capabilities. Furthermore, the recent advances regarding the use of renewable materials and green solvent strategies to improve the sustainability of electrospun membranes and to fabricate eco-friendly filters are here discussed, especially in view of the large-scale nanofiber production where traditional membrane manufacturing may result in a high environmental and health risk.

PMID:37152683 | PMC:PMC10151159 | DOI:10.1016/j.apmt.2023.101833


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